Shining Sea Bikeway

About the Bikeway
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We are very proud of this multi-use trail, which is ranked as a #1 attraction on Trip Advisor. It is always open, always safe and family-friendly, a place you can teach your family about salt marshes and cranberry bogs while enjoying a nice ride or walk. We sponsor art projects, publish bike-friendly guides and maps, and help maintain this valuable community resource to ensure a fun, safe and positive experience for everyone. Please remember to wear your helmet when biking and give an audible signal when passing other users on the bike path!

Artwork along the Bikeway

Scenes along the Bikeway
Click photo to enlarge

Downtown Falmouth from the Bikeway
Falmouth Village has lots to offer - restaurants, shops, a library, a History Museum...
The safest way to get there from the Bikeway: between the Falmouth Depot (bus station) and the Steamship Authority parking lot is a spur that takes you to Rt. 28 directly across from Katherine Lee Bates Rd. Dismount (then according to Mass. State Law you are a pedestrian and cars must stop for you in the crosswalk). However, use extreme caution as cars are going fast and don't always stop!

Once you cross, continue on the sidewalk (yielding to pedestrians of course) until it's safe to cross to the right-hand side of the street. Continue until your second right (Library Ln.). There are bike racks here and we recommend parking your bike and walking along Main St. The library is here, with bathrooms available during open hours.

In addition to the library, above, there are port-a-potties available seasonally in the following locations (north to south):

  • Old Dock Rd. parking lot.

  • Steamship Authority main parking lot where the bikeway crosses it.

  • Falmouth Station (bus station) during opening hours (real bathroom).

  • Just north of the Locust St. crossing at the north end of that parking lot.

  • Trunk River parking lot.
    Steamship Authority parking lot in Woods Hole.

  • The northern terminus just west of the intersection of Route 151 and Rt 28A. Proceed through the intersection on County Rd, cross the railroad tracks and a large parking lot is on your right (north side).

  • Old Dock Rd. crossing

  • In downtown Falmouth, the main parking lot is off Depot Avenue, approximately 1/2 mile south of the Jones Rd/Rt 28 "hospital corner" stop lights.

  • There is a small parking lot at the Locust St. crossing just south of town.

  • Trunk River (limited in summer as also used for beach parking)

  • There is very limited metered on-street parking in Woods Hole.

Parking is available at the following locations (north to south):

The Shining Sea Bikeway was originally established in 1975 and went from Falmouth Center to Woods Hole along an abandoned railway line (New York, New Haven & Hartford Railway). It is named for the line in the song "America the Beautiful" by Falmouth native Katherine Lee Bates. In 2009, the pathway was finally completed from Falmouth Center to North Falmouth an additional 6.8 miles making the total length from Woods Hole to North Falmouth 10.8 miles.

Starting in Woods Hole, the Bikeway has sweeping vistas over Vineyard Sound to Martha's Vineyard, skirts town, then heads north for views over salt marshes, freshwater ponds, and cranberry bogs. Walking trails, Bourne Farm, the villages of West and North Falmouth can all be accessed from the trail. Several public beaches are an easy ride on roads from the trail. Interpretive signs along the way teach you about the cultural and natural history of the area. In addition, several features installed specifically for the trail include Bud's Stop Pavillion and lots of artwork.

History of the path

Scroll down for information about:

History of the path
Downtown Falmouth from the path
Rest rooms
Scenes along the bikeway
Bud's Stop Pavillion

Bud's Stop Pavillion

In July 2012, Friends of Falmouth Bikeways completed the installation of 4 information boards at Bud's Stop pavilion. The pavilion was dedicated to Bud Miskell in November 2011 and donated to the Town of Falmouth. The pavilion is located at the Depot Avenue parking lot at mile 3.5 of the Shining Sea Bikeway. Construction of Bud's Stop was paid for by Friends of Falmouth Bikeways general funds and memorial gifts in memory of Bud Miskell. Bud was a passionate biker who died at 88 just after riding the Shining Sea Bikepath extension to North Falmouth.

We have worked with several groups to create art along the Bikeway. This artwork enhances the experience for the user, adding a colorful and fun element to complement the natural beauty along the path. Below is some of the artwork along the path.